Document Type

Undergraduate Syllabus


Spring 2017



Course Number


Course Description

Investigating International Relations is a Social Sciences research methodology course that is aimed towards offering understanding regarding scientifically investigating issues and themes within the realm of International Relations.

As DIPL 3800 is designated as "numeracy infused" and is a prerequisite to the Senior Research Project (DIPL 4101), the course is designed to achieve the following four goals:

First, to increase the competency and build student's skills in qualitative thinking. Hence, there will be assignments that require students to do math and engage with numbers. Therefore, some of us may need to challenge the commonly acquired false assumption of, "I am not a math person." The class is not intended to create John Nash, but to enable students to enhance their qualitative thinking and apply basic math and statistics for their research projects. Second, the course will prepare students for their Senior Research Project and by the end of this semester, you will have a basic research template for your final project. Third, looking for causal relationships and making inferences between variables is one of the most demanding mandates of empirical scrutiny and scientific investigation within the field of International Relations (IR) and Political Science. The regression model is one of the analytical tools that is used mostly for inferential analysis. Therefore, in order to prepare students for their final research projects, this course will cover some basic understanding about regression analysis in the final weeks, with a particular emphasis on Ordinary Least Squares regression. Fourth, analytical software is used extensively in different branches of Social Sciences for both descriptive and inferential analysis. SPSS is one of the most standard statistical packages that is most commonly used. This course will include the materials needed to introduce students to the skills needed for using SPSS for descriptive and inferential analysis.

In brief, DIPL 3800 offers understanding about the Social Science research process, descriptive and inferential analysis, and an introduction into the basic functioning and value of using SPSS. It is fair for the student to know that this is an extensive course with regard to the amount of readings, calculations/ math, and statistical applications.